According to analysis by economists from Berkeley, the richest 0.1% of Americans have seen their share of wealth nearly triple from 7% to 20% between the late 1970s and 2016 … While the opposite is happening in the bottom 90%, where their share of wealth has declined from 35% to 25%. Elizabeth Warren cites these numbers in her proposal
for a tax on millionaires.
Over 200 billionaires – including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg, have signed the giving pledge
– committing to give away the majority of their money to charity.
Both Bhaskar and James talk about Scandinavia. Bhaskar says it represents the success of a democratic socialist system, whereas James argues that deregulation and minimal government intervention allowed the countries to flourish, and create more billionaires per capita than in the United States. Here
is a look at the Nordic model’s capitalist and pro-business policies that allow for a flourishing social safety net.
James talks about Germany’s worker cooperatives. A worker cooperative is a cooperative that is owned and self-managed by its workers. Cooperatives differ from limited-liability companies and joint-stock companies through their democratic decision-making processes.
Bernie Sanders’ plan to drastically reduce the amount of billionaires in America includes establishing an annual tax on the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households. Under this plan
, the “tax on extreme wealth” the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years
Bhaskar talks about the rise in income inequality over the past 30 years. In 1950, rich Americans paid 70 percent of their income in taxes. By 1980, the 400 wealthiest people paid 47 percent of their incomes in taxes. In 2018, it was 23 percent. This
is a graphic that shows the yearly change in tax income.
After Elizabeth criticized billionaires and proposed a wealth tax to address income inequality, Billionaire Leon Cooperman published an open letter
to the Democratic Senator, arguing against this proposal and promoting the importance of billionaires in wealth creation, innovation, and philanthropy.
James talks about how Jeff Bezos started Amazon as a small online bookstore out of his garage
are some other billionaire start-up stories.